Doggers bounce back with win

LUSK – A day after coming up short 72-71 in double overtime to the Southeast Cyclones, the Lingle-Fort Laramie boys’ basketball team bounced back into the win column with a 90-63 road victory over the Niobrara County Tigers.

During Thursday’s loss to Southeast, the Doggers overcame an 11-point deficit, trailing 48-37 with 2:27 left in the third quarter.

“Our ultimate goal is to keep getting better. Coach (Ed) Fullmer always used to tell me when I coached with him, it’s never as bad as you think, and it’s never as good as you think until you go back and watch the film,” LFL coach Chris Cook said. “I thought we did a lot of good things.”

With 4:56 left in the game, sophomore Brody Roberts gave Lingle a 51-50 advantage, its first lead since the opening seconds of the game. It was part of a 14-2 LFL run.

“We went on a 10-0 to start the fourth quarter when technically you should have some dead legs,” Cook said. “We kept battling and extending the game. Those minutes are super invaluable, especially for our young guys.”

It was the first of four lead changes and three ties over the final five minutes of regulation.

Freshman Brady Cook tied the game at 58 with a pair of free throws with 6.6 seconds left to ultimately force the first overtime period.

Near the end of the first overtime, it was again free throws which sent the game into a second overtime.

Southeast senior Kyler Clark drained a 3-pointer with 23 seconds left to put Southeast back in front 67-66, but with 17.9 seconds left, LFL junior Nolan Spears went 1-for-2 at the charity stripe to tie the game and force a second overtime.

Over the final four minutes, Clark scored all five of the Cyclone points to hand the Doggers a one-point loss.

“You have to give (Southeast) credit,” Cook said. “They made some plays down the stretch. It’s a fun rivalry game. I told the boys, this is something you’ll remember – a double overtime game with a packed gym with people all the way around the outside. Yes, we lost, but in the end, we gained out of that.”

Lingle was led by Roberts with 21 points and 10 assists, while Cook tallied 14 points, 13 rebounds and six blocks. Junior Aidan Mattheus had 13 points and 15 rebounds, while Spears tossed in 10 points.

The next day, Lingle traveled north to Lusk coming away with a 27-point win.

“This is the one that matters the most to us,” Cook said. “We have to learn from what we did (Thursday), and we cleaned it up much better today. We didn’t make the mistakes that ended up hurting us (against Southeast).”

The Doggers trailed only the first few seconds of the game, and despite the double overtime game the night before, energy wasn’t an issue for Lingle.

“The way they play, they create their own energy,” Cook said. “Being able to press, and it contributes to more energy from each other with the way they get after it.”

LFL senior Brian McCoid scored the first four points of the game for Lingle as the visitors grabbed an 8-2 lead.

The Tigers managed to tie the game at 11 midway through the opening quarter, but the Doggers scored 14 of the next 16 points to take a 25-13 lead into the second quarter.

Lingle’s lead only grew from there.

The Doggers added 23 points in the second quarter, 24 in the third and 18 in the fourth.

Eleven of the 12 Doggers scored at least one point in the win.

Roberts led the team with 21 points, to go along with six assists and nine steals. Mattheus added 17 points, eight rebounds and six steals. Sophomore Elijah Hatch and freshman Anthony Arnusch had 11 points each. Cook tallied another double-double with 10 points and 10 rebounds.

LFL is now 7-5 on the season. The Doggers travel to Guernsey (3-3) for their only game of the weekend on Friday. Tipoff is scheduled for 7 p.m.